Gawy: Expanding Your Heart

The band Gawy from Cairo was established in 2015. The band performed in many venues and last year the debut album Qalbk Yasa‘ was released.

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Everything started with Mahmoud El-Kady, the band manager, Ahmad el-Gamal, the poet of the band, and Mohamed Abd El-Latif, the vocalist. They initiated the idea of Gawy, and started to gather talented musicians to complete the band. Founded three years ago, the band – consisting of Fady Wissa (Guitar), Bebawy Raafat (Bass Guitar), Nadim Nakhla (Drums) and Toqa El-Hagrasy (Qanon) together with El-Latif and el-Gamal has become an important addition to the music scene.

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On Facebook they write: “the band seeks to provide an alternative art that cares about the word in the first place and creates a new state of blending poetry and singing together in addition to performing traditional songs to be revived in all its forms and kinds.”

The first song, uploaded on Soundcloud was, 3atshan ya Zeina. While listening to this song and the later productions you can clearly hear a difference in their musical journey, while some similarities remain. It is rather slow-paced, accompanied by different instruments and by a second vocalist named Nehal Kamal, but she left the band after a while.

The band released the album Qalbk Yasa’ (which means something like The Heart is Expanding) as a live recording. The reason for releasing a live album at the beginning is twofold. First it was the cheapest way of releasing the album. Second they wanted to keep the sound as it is from the live concerts. El-Kady explains that while many bands add many layers to their songs and sounds, they wanted to have the sound just like it was during their live performances at concerts.

The songs are mostly written by Ahmed el-Gamal, except for two traditional poems they decided to cover. The first is a traditional Palestinian folk song, Yamah Mawael El-Hawa and the other is Ya Leal Ya Leal from Upper-Egypt. The concept of the album is clearly marked by the texts written by el-Gamal. They are about love and the family alongside social and political norms. Usually their concerts consist of 15 songs and their concerts are more like a play in terms of story-telling, but it was not possible to put all the songs into the first album. The album consists of seven tracks in total, and is merging different genres such as Funk, Jazz and Rock together. El-Kady explains:

“We are just mixing these genres with oriental elements together, either in a lyrical way or through the music. We don’t just play Funk, Jazz, or traditional music, it is our kind of music.”

The band members make sure that all their influences and personal notes become evident in the music of Gawy. Each of the members have their own influence on the music. The songs have an intimate feel and leave a very personal touch, found in the poetry of Ahmed el-Gamal. Mahmoud el-Kady hopes that in the near future Gawy will release a second album, which is planned to be released as a studio and a live recording as well.

 

An article on Gawy was published here first.

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